More students, much rehab as SUNY Cobleskill preps for new term

SUNY-Cobleskill is seeing an increase in enrollment and applications as the agriculture and technolo

SUNY-Cobleskill is seeing an increase in enrollment and applications as the agriculture and technology college enters its first week of the 2012 fall semester.

College spokesman Joel M. Smith said a total of 2,544 students are now attending classes, an increase of 1 percent over last year. Of those, roughly 30 are international students from 11 foreign countries.

The boost in the student body comes as applications increase by 4 percent.

“We’re very pleased to see both applications up this year as well as increased enrollment,” Smith said.

This year’s first week of school is vastly different from the first semester of 2011 when Schoharie County was under a state of emergency. The campus took on floodwater during the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee, with the Cobleskill Creek carving a new path and inundating some entrances.

Students this year will see a variety of improvements on campus — some projects are complete, others are under way.

“Students are seeing progress as it takes place,” Smith said.

Upgrades include a beautification project aimed at improving pedestrian access and adding more green space. A courtyard between Knapp Hall and Bouck Hall is being developed as a memorial for veterans. New concrete walkways, stone seating walls and outdoor gathering areas are among other improvements.

The college has begun construction on a $38.7 million Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources as well. That work is expected to be complete in time for the fall of 2014.

The college on Wednesday marked the grand opening of a newly renovated Champlin Hall. The dining hall now features several serving stations with an emphasis on healthy foods and international cuisine, Smith said.

The college is using its website,, to help students negotiate their way around the construction activity. The “Campus Construction” link provides an outline of six projects taking place with details on cost and timeline. It also includes a map with green-shaded areas marking construction activity and red-colored lines with preferred walking paths.

“Everybody seems to be handling it seamlessly because the end result is going to be a campus that is so much more beautiful, modern and accessible for our students,” Smith said.

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